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Rutgers men's soccer names captains for 2021 season

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The Rutgers men’s soccer team announced its two captains for the 2021 season: senior defender Vincent Borden and junior midfielder Pablo Ávila.

Ávila played one season with the Scarlet Knights (1-0-0, 1-0-0) prior to being named captain. He appeared in 16 games, making 15 starts in 2019 while being named an All-Big Ten Second Team midfielder. In that same season, he had 6 goals and added two assists, leading the team in points. Ávila was also awarded the Art Brinkmann Top Scorer Award and the Bob McNulty MVP Award.

Before the beginning of this season, Ávila was 1 of 3 players in the program to be named to the Players to Watch List by the Big Ten, joining sophomores defender Hugo Le Guennec and midfielder Jackson Temple.

Borden has spent three seasons wearing the Rutgers uniform. The 6-foot-3 defender from Ithaca, New York, has played 48 games for the Knights, with 2 goals and one assist. In his debut season, he started all 18 games in the midfield and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team.

During his junior season, Borden was on the Academic All-Big Ten and started in all 18 games. He was a recipient of the Richard Ferraro Award, which is given to the player who is most inspirational to the team’s success and demonstrated the dedication, spirit and values of the program.

Rutgers head men's soccer coach Jim McElderry spoke on the decision of giving the armband to Borden and Ávila on his podcast, “The Jim McElderry Show.”

“We’re excited to have those guys be the leaders of our group,” McElderry said. “We feel both of those guys bring a level of maturity and the old kind of adage kind of an extension of the coaching staff a little bit and also just help our team during games and after games and preparing for games."

Borden and Ávila will wear the armband when it is time to play, but McElderry also gave recognition to other players who are good leaders.

Borden and Ávila had their first game as captains on Friday, where the Knights were able to walk away with a 2-0 victory over Michigan State. Borden, Ávila and teammates will return to Big Ten action on Tuesday against Penn State in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

For more updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.


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